The exciting part is thinking about all the things to which I can look forward now that I don't have (as much) grading to do:
Upcoming trip to California - I haven't really spent time on the west coast, especially not in my adult life so far. Other than a trip to Oregon as a kid and a few layovers in LA and San Fransisco, I'm a first-timer and very much excited about it!
More time to read - I'm about a million books behind Miranda on our reading list (ok, not a million, 4, I think). Not that it's a competition, but tracking together helps us both stay on pace to finish the list. I'm about 170 pages into 1000+ page Gone with the Wind, so I better get moving!
Catching up on life - Am I the only one who feels like I'm always one or two steps behind? I think it's my chronic problem with over-committing myself to everything and not leaving enough downtime or buffer in my life that is to blame. Either way, I'm learning to say "no" more (not my strongest suit) and not feel guilty when I have nothing to do.
I get so caught up in doing things that I often forget about being. I don't want to have a million things to do and no time to do them. I would rather have one or two things to do and plenty to time to do them to the best of my ability. But unfortunately, the list of things to do keeps growing: organize/print pictures for albums, clean the office, plant flowers out front, sort through closets to weed out things I don't wear, buy luggage, start thinking about packing for upcoming trips, etc., etc.
As silly as it may sound, I really am looking forward to getting these things done. It is an opportunity to worship through my activities and my time management. I have largely failed in this area thus far, so I'm praying that I can take steps toward being a good steward of my time. I want to glorify the Lord in all things including (especially) the way I spend my time. His desire is for me to be filled, not for me to be burnt out. Yes, I need to do the things on my list, but I don't need to become overwhelmed and stressed about them.
This is a constant battle I fight, so reading Oswald Chambers' words a few nights ago really struck a cord with me. He says this relating to Matthew 6: 25 and 33:
Jesus did not say that the person who takes no thought for anything in his life is blessed— no, that person is a fool. But Jesus did teach that His disciple must make his relationship with God the dominating focus of his life, and to be cautiously carefree about everything else in comparison to that.I like that. "Cautiously carefree." These are words that I would like to be used about me someday. I want to live with a certain wisdom and caution, but I also want to be able to have a light, carefree air about me. Do things on a whim knowing that I haven't neglected any of responsibilities. Prayerfully, that's where I'm headed.
So, here's to being cautiously carefree and light as a feather!